The greatest barrier to bitcoin adoption today is the mysticism and magic that surrounds money and wealth. It is due to this mystical perspective of money that many people do not understand bitcoin, and other digital currencies. However, when we can come to understand bitcoin and money from a scientific perspective, we can pull back the curtain of Oz and see the little man for what he is.
The Mysticism of Money
I use the words magic and mysticism very specifically. When I say mysticism, I am not talking about true fairy-tale like mystical forces, but the human perception of the legitimacy of the unknown. The unsaid agreements that run and dictate larger forces within our society that one does not understand, but one accept them at face value. There is the sacrifice of knowledge-sovereignty for mystical comfort–there is strength for society in our own personal ignorance.
Magic is the application of psychological obfuscation to obscure what the truth is–this is what creates mysticism. The application of ‘magic’ creates a mystical story around whatever the target does not understand. This creates the false reflection of truth through offering ‘what is’ as a justification for how it should be. This article in Time Magazine’s blog is an example of this. They speak of how the most recent report to come out from the consumer financial protection bureau warns that bitcoin is, “vulnerability to hackers, limited security, excessive costs and scams.” It then futher elaborates, “Virtual currencies are not backed by any government or central bank, and at this point consumers are stepping into the Wild West when they engage in the market.” However, it fails to understand that this is the whole point of bitcoin, is to take the totality of what money is, and how it functions completely out of the hands of governments and regulators due to the fact they cannot be trusted with the economic prosperity of all. This propaganda piece is made to scare people into continuing to trust the very people who run the economy into the ground again, and again, because understanding money and security is just too complicated and risky for everyone.
However it is not enough alone to simply use propaganda and lies to create a mysticism–violence, control, and intimidation must also be an implicit facts of how ‘the story’ is forged. This creates the ideological paradigm that money must be control by governments, or terrible thing will happen. This story is perpetuated by making money into something that only ‘experts’ can understand, as it is just too complicated, risky, and difficult for the common man to understand.
The Science of Bitcoin
Bitcoin is a financial system that is based upon scientific logic. This logic is derived from the mathematical bases and protocol upon which bitcoin is built. Those who use bitcoin understand that the known, limited supply of bitcoin, is part of what gives it the very power that made it have value in the first place. Bitcoiners don’t want backdoors built into the protocol, or allow for the suits in banking or government to have any kind of access to their money–that’s the whole point of bitcoin! There is substantial evidence that these bankers and regulators want to be good masters of the banking and money systems, but first and foremost is that they want to be masters. There is ample evidence of the long train of abuses that clearly displays what they want to do with that power, and it is not to protect the average consumer.
The myth of money is animated behind the belief that the ruling establishment is pushing that people cannot, and should not have control of their own money. There is not a strong analytically case for this, but half-truths, fear-mongering, and an obscuring of what is true to attempt to herd people away from trying to achieve true economic independence for oneself. Whereas bitcoin and other digital currencies make the argument for why their are powerful modes of exchange and storage of wealth through strong, scientific whitepapers. The virtue of the value of digital currencies come from what they are, and what they are alone–not from the authoritarian systems that ask us to trust them without any reassurances.
The science of bitcoin comes from its mathematical bases, and that anyone can review the code that build it. Bitcoin creates an argument for itself; you can see and understand how it is ‘unhackable’ when stored and used correctly, and see how the cryptography behind bitcoin keeps everything private. You can see how much the fees are for using bitcoin with the knowledge that there are no hidden fees, random fund seizures, or someone who will deny you access to your own money when you need it. Digital currencies can be used anywhere on the planet (and in space as well), and can cross boarders with no hassles or declaration forms to be filled out. Bitcoin has a strong argument for why it is better than fiat by what it is, and nothing more–I can’t say the same for fiat and the magical thinking that is needed to think that this system is safe and secure.
To Pull Back the Curtain
The con is up. The once ever so powerful wizardry that created and legitimized the banking, financial, and money systems can be seen for the trickery that it is. The internet has given us the access to the knowledge and facts that has allowed for us to tear down the curtain and see them for what they are: scare little people in suits who will screaming that everything is ok. As they flail and panic to put the curtain of obstruction and mysticism back, they will find that the tale no longer holds the power it once did. We see them for the criminal they are, and the way that they do it, and not it is just a matter of time before people see that these powerful institutions for the criminals that they are.
Originally published at btctheory.com on August 13, 2014.